A year ago this place was surrounded by police, FBI and special agents as the bodies were identified. A year ago families and friends searched desperately for their loved ones as we waited for that fateful list to be released. A year ago I crumpled in my shower as I wept for those families. A year ago I found myself questioning over and over how someone could be so filled with hatred for a community that he could sit in Pulse watching people dance, drink and love only to decide their lives were his to take.
It’s been a year.
I’ve come here multiple times. I’ve laid flowers, raised candles and prayed on an endless loop that the 49 angels would find their peace.
Yet here and now, a year later, it feels like no time has passed at all. It’s as though we’re right there again, in the midst of indescribable pain and heartache.
My heart is fractured, seemingly holding on by some unseen stitches. But I know what those stitches are made of. It’s love and kindness and empathy and hope.
It’s shown when there’s a line to donate blood or when a stranger offers me water or a hug.
Over and over again Orlando has come together over the past year. The LGBTQ community has more allies then ever before, and I hate that it took senseless violence to get here, but here is how we know fear and terror will never win.
Here, as we support and love each other everyday, is how we fight back and show that you cannot silence our voices, you cannot cease our connection to one another, and no matter what – no matter how many bullets rain down – you will never stop our Pulse.
This is Orlando.
#orlandounited #orlandostrong #onepulse #rememberthe49 #loveisloveislove